Microsoft and Asobo Studio’s revival of a classic is now available for everyone, with Microsoft Flight Simulator now live on Steam and the Windows 10 Store. You can virtually fly the globe for $60, or through Xbox Games Pass for PC–but be prepared for a sizable download before you can start playing.
Microsoft Flight Simulator’s big hook is the combination of Microsoft Azure cloud processing and Bing map data, which allows the game to accurately map the entire globe using 2 petabytes of streamed data. That makes this latest entry in the series not only the largest yet by some margin, but also a peek into how cloud services can be leveraged for games going forward.
The system isn’t without flaws, but Asobo Studio also ensured it more meticulously recreated some of the world’s most popular airports, which you can fly between using up to 30 highly-detailed aircraft. Microsoft Flight Simulator comes in three tiers–Standard, Deluxe, and Premium–each of which feature additional airports and planes for different prices. Only the standard version is offered as part of Xbox Games Pass for PC.
If you pre-loaded Microsoft Flight Simulator, you’ll also have an additional download waiting for you. The pre-load only seemed to encompass a preliminary client for the game, meaning you’ll need to still download around 90GB before you can start. That brings the total install size of the game over 150GB, so make sure you have the space and additional internet bandwidth to ensure streamed assets are loaded swiftly. Also check the game’s system requirements to make sure your PC is ready.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the most positively reviewed games of the year already, with GameSpot sister site Metacritic aggregating multiple review scores to a total of 93/100 currently. GameSpot’s own review for Microsoft Flight Simulator is in progress and will be published soon.
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